During a cruise to Egypt, you can spend your time exploring the bustling cities, touring thousand-year-old monuments and exploring the remains of ancient civilisations. Plus, with its excellent weather and great beaches, you can sit back and soak up the sun. Whether you are after a rich cultural experience or are happy to take it easy and spend your time relaxing, an Egyptian cruise is a winner.
Popular ports in Egypt
Port Said sits on Africa’s north-east coast, just over 100 miles from Cairo. Established in 1859, the port links the Mediterranean Sea with the northern tip of the Suez Canal, ensuring spectacular views for visitors. It’s the easiest place for a trip to Cairo, taking a little over an hour to reach the lively capital city. However, there’s still some brilliant places to visit outside the port, such as the Waterfront Quarter, which stretches for five miles along the harbour. You can meander along the stretch and admire the majestic buildings and view over the canal. A tour through the Suez Canal is highly recommended: it links the Mediterranean and Red Seas and revolutionised water travel around the region. The huge sand dunes lining the canal are worth seeing up close, too. For great views of the canal without taking a tour, head to the top of Port Said Lighthouse.
Port of Alexandria
The waterfront city of Alexandria is the second largest in Egypt and has impressive credentials: it was founded by Alexander the Great and was once home to Cleopatra. It’s close to Cairo but doesn’t have the capital’s chaotic bustle, making it perfect for relaxing yet atmospheric cruises. The port itself is considered Egypt’s main port, and has been open since 332 BC! On the western edge of the Nile, the Port of Alexandria has modern facilities and easy access to tourist hotspots and the city itself. If you aren’t embarking on an excursion with your ship, you can hop in a taxi to explore the area. Highlights include walking along the Corniche, where you can see some of the city’s most incredible architecture, from Roman amphitheatres to former Wonders of the World. Alexandria has a few beaches to choose from, too, as well as restaurants serving excellent seafood.
Sharm el Sheikh Port
The beach resort of Sharm el Sheikh lies on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, surrounded by clear waters, remote beaches and thriving marine life. The port has modern facilities that enable easy access to taxis, so you can get out and about in the local area. There are plenty of excursions on offer too: from taking glass-bottom boats around the majestic marine reserves to shopping in the aromatic souks. An incredibly popular destination is St Catherine’s Monastery at the bottom of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. You can take trips into the desert where Bedouin tribes will welcome you into their camps and put on excellent entertainment. From riding camels at sunset and racing over sand dunes in jeeps, to swimming with exotic fish, Sharm el Sheikh has plenty to offer.
What are the best cruise ships for a cruise to Egypt?
Whether you’re planning on absorbing Egypt’s fascinating history, exploring its ancient monuments or relaxing on its beaches, these ships will take you there in style.
When you’re cruising to distinctive cities like Alexandria, intimate cruise ships like Black Watch give you the perfect set-up. Part of the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines fleet, Black Watch is a smaller ship with great facilities. You can take advantage of two heated swimming pools, many hot tubs, a range of exercise pools and a fitness centre with a variety of classes. There’s also a gym, golf nets and a tennis court. Once you’re finished exercising, you can hit the luxury spa and enjoy treatments or relaxing in the sauna or steam room. Food choices are varied, with everything from stylish gourmet cuisine to relaxed, informal restaurants. There’s even an outside restaurant, so you can admire the views while you eat.
This adults-only cruise lets you enjoy the finer things in life – much like Egypt’s ancient pharaohs. P&O Cruises’ Arcadia is an extravagant ship with a range of fine dining restaurants, indulgent spa and cultural experiences. Marco Pierre White’s Ocean Grill serves up some of the best cuisine around and guarantees special evenings. Once you’ve eaten, you can try your luck in the Monte Carlo Casino, enjoy a show at the theatre, or try some comedy or live music. The Oasis Spa is one of Arcadia’s highlights, with its whirlpool and aromatic showers. The huge Art Gallery houses more than 3,000 pieces, while the cinema shows the latest big-screen releases. Arcadia is the perfect ship to relax, unwind and enjoy unlimited indulgence.
Shore excursion ideas
You can’t travel to Egypt without visiting the majestic Pyramids – but the activities don’t stop once you’ve taken in the ancient sights.
The Giza Necropolis
The Giza Necropolis isn’t just the most popular attraction in Egypt – it’s one of the most visited landmarks in the world. Thousands of tourists arrive every day to see the imposing structures, made easier by the proximity to Cairo. As well as seeing the pyramids of Giza, you’re also in the right area to visit the Great Sphinx and the Valley Temple. It’s easy to navigate the Giza Necropolis by foot or bus, but you can also choose to see the sights from horseback – or from the top of a camel.
Valley of the Kings and the Egyptian Museum
Perhaps the most famous of all the pharaohs, King Tutankhamun has fascinated people all over the world. On your tour of the Valley of the Kings, you’ll have the opportunity to visit his tomb. In addition to his resting place, there’s also tombs of 63 ancient royals so there’s plenty to see when you arrive. Combine this visit with a trip to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo: the majority of the treasures found in the tombs now reside in the spectacular museum exhibits.
Explore the deserts
Depending on where your cruise docks, make sure you visit at least one part of Egypt’s sprawling desert. Various tours will take you around the major attractions of the Western Desert, including the White Desert, the Black Desert and the eerie Valley of the Whales. If you’re in Sharm el Sheikh, book a 4×4 adventure in the Sinai Desert. From wild camels to towering rock formations, you’ll get a unique glimpse of the harsh environment. There’s also the chance to ride camels through the dunes, enjoy Bedouin hospitality and take in the beautiful Na’ama Bay.
Ras Mohammed National Park
Ras Mohammed National Park is a vast stretch of protected waters in the Red Sea, offering unrivalled diving and snorkelling. Excursions will take you via bus and boat to the park, where you’ll join an instructor and captain. You’ll be taken to various sites within the national park, giving you ample opportunity to spot hundreds of species of fish and aquatic creatures and explore the spectacular coral reefs. Marine life that you can expect to see include butterfly fish, lionfish, manta rays, hammerheads and whale sharks.
Top ports of call in this destination
- Alexandria Port
- Port Said
- Cairo Port
- Sharm el Sheikh Port
- Hurghada Port
- Safaga Port
- Luxor Port